Trillion Game Season 1 Review – wouldn’t we all wish to be that bold?

Season 1


Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9
Episode 10


Forget integrity, you won’t need it here. Netflix’s Japanese drama Trillion Game (Toririon Gēmu) is a perfect pairing of the scammer and the genius – think Catch Me if You Can as a duo. No self-respecting ‘businessman’ would attempt a boundary leap without a reliable hacker, of course. But it’s good old fashioned snake oil salesmanship and an unwavering gaze that brings home the goods for this couple of chancers.

Linked by fate and mutual respect, or at the very least, a sense of awe in each other’s skills, Haru and Gaku prepare to take on the world with a business plan drawn on a building. Led by double-idol power, Haru is the smooth-talking, terribly convincing mastermind played by the fabulous Ren Meguro (silent, My Happy Marriage, My Love Mix-Up!) of Snowman.

The equally compelling Hayato Sano (Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Tokyo MER) of J-pop group M!lk is Gaku, your uber-talented techie, perpetually flustered but ever finding ways to use the lucky breaks Haru creates as he continues to choose to believe in his friend. Of course, for Haru, Gaku is not only the skills but also a perfectly reliable pair of hands.

Chortle through each fantastical episode as the guys cleverly take on much larger businesses with a dream of making trillions in any way they can. Featuring on the World Billionaires list is Haru’s ultimate fantasy and promise to Gaku. The type of business doesn’t matter, as long as there’s an IT piece leading it, putting Gaku’s talent to use.

Starting with 200,000 yen (less than $1400), which Haru immediately spends in full on a good desk chair for Gaku, they work their way through potential investors with fake-it-til-you-make-it flair.  Haru isn’t above getting his hands seriously dirty to make each challenge a winning chance that leads to the next bigger piece of pie. However nervous Gaku may be, Haru is double-down in it to win it.

At the same time, he’s got his eye on the daughter and heir of the top Japanese conglomerate, Dragon Bank, taunting her with deals she can’t possibly refuse. Or is she the one luring him? No stranger to a challenge, they are as unscrupulous as each other, a match made in hell. But what happens to innocent and hardworking Gaku in all this? 

With every new bluff, the stakes get higher. But Haru continues to dive nose-deep, starting and finishing every step with a huge smile. As they move up into ever more dangerous surroundings, Gaku becomes aware Haru’s blowing smoke, remarking that he lies as often as he breathes.

The multi-step money-making plan involves more and more angels and employees, all charmed and convinced as Haru continues to prove out his ideas via Gaku’s skill. But now, as a fully-fledged company boldly named Trillion Game, the investors’ success becomes their responsibility too, raising the stakes in more than cash.

Written as a manga from 2020 by Riichiro Inagaki (Dr Stone, Eyeshield 21) and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami (Wounded Man, Spiderman: The Manga), it’s got an anime version on the horizon. Could there be a Season 2? Not that we’ve heard – yet. But we’ll be first in line. To add to the fun, J-pop group Snowman, provides the catchy and aptly titled theme tune, Dangerholic.

Directed by Yoshiaki Murao and scripted by Daisuke Habara for Japanese TV station TBS, it’s 10 episodes are fast-paced and filled with surprising cliffhangers. With the current shortage of original content, this drama is begging for a shot if isn’t already being rewritten for American TV. Let’s watch and see – sharp and snappy, it’s a complete miss if not recreated in many languages.

Full of jack-in-the-box surprises as the guys aim to break a new barrier with each drop, it often appears as though Haru has planned every twist and turn toward a climactic outcome, enjoying the rush. And he’s more than happy to take the credit as he flashes that trillion-dollar smile. 


Stream the entire series of Trillion Game on Netflix, Bilibili or watch on TBS in Japan. See our interview from last Spring with Ren Meguro. Or for more reviews of Japanese dramas and movies, click here.


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  • Verdict - 9/10

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